Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 2006-06, 2007 Apr; :1-8
On June 9, 2006, a 28-year-old male laborer (the victim) died following injuries he received on June 7, 2006, when a water truck drifted downhill and pinned him against a retaining wall. The victim was working at a new residential construction site and was washing an entrance retaining wall. The employer had parked the water truck on an incline on the entrance road, placed it into neutral, engaged the parking brake, and left it idling. Approximately 20 minutes later, the truck started drifting down the road as the victim washed the wall with his back to the water truck. The employer yelled to warn the victim, as he and a subcontractor ran behind the truck. The victim froze, and the water truck struck him, pinning him between the water truck and the wall. The employer backed the truck off of the victim and called 911 on his mobile telephone as he checked the victim for injuries. At approximately 10:30 a.m., Emergency Medical Services (EMS), the county sheriff and fire department were dispatched to the incident. At approximately 10:36 a.m., the sheriff, fire and EMS arrived at the scene. EMS assessed the victim and found that he was having difficulty breathing. A life flight helicopter was requested and the victim was transported to a state hospital where he was admitted and died two days later. NIOSH investigators concluded that, to help prevent similar occurrences, employers should: 1. ensure that construction motor vehicles are inspected daily and that defective equipment is reported and removed from service until all the needed repairs have been made; 2. ensure that wheels are properly chocked on all construction vehicles when they are parked or left unattended on an incline; and, 3. develop, implement, and enforce a comprehensive written safety program for all workers which includes training in hazard recognition and the avoidance of unsafe conditions.